Madelyn taught our family about Character last night for family night. She had written the text below for a paper in her health class at the High School and I asked her to share it with us.
"I believe character is what our heart truly wants and it is what we do and think even when no one is watching us. Have you ever heard someone say, “And then his true character came through.”? When a really difficult or really stressful situation comes at us, all facades go down. The way we act in those situations reflects who we really are. My mom is a great example of having good character. In a very trying situation she was still able to be selfless, kind, and loving.
A few years ago my mom had two strokes. It was a crazy time and in my mind I just remember it as a big jumbled, confusing mess. She wasn’t supposed to have a stroke; she was only thirty-five. I wasn’t supposed to be so close to not having a mom. I remember being really upset and sort of becoming an introvert. Yet, through all that my mom went through, through the immense pain, she still thought of others instead of herself. When I’m in a lot of pain, I get ornery. I become angry which proves I need to work on my character. But my mom becomes even more of an angel. She wanted my dad to specifically not tell my brother and me things so that we wouldn’t be any more scared. She hated herself for not being the mom she wanted to be. She didn’t blame anyone or anything for this wretched, awful pain she had to go through, but herself. She would never even think of inflicting hurt on anyone, but herself. She has a heart bigger than I’ve ever seen.
She did end up recovering from the strokes although she still stays in bed a majority of the time to keep herself from having seizures. When she feels a seizure coming on, her first thought is always us. She doesn’t think of the heck she’s about to endure, she thinks of getting us out of the room so we don’t have to witness it. After her seizures she always apologizes over and over again in her slurred, quiet voice. She has absolutely no reason to be sorry! We are all so sorry that such a perfect person has to go through so much! She’s never ever done anything in her life that would cause her to deserve this. Yet, she never becomes angry. If anyone has the right to be a bitter, loathsome person, angry at the world, it’s her. But she never complains. We all wish we could take some of the pain upon ourselves so she wouldn’t have to suffer so much. But that’s just not the way God wants it.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. We have hard times because it makes us who we are. It gives us character if we handle it the right way. If we keep our heads held high and a smile on our face, if we think of others automatically and not of ourselves, if our only regrets are that we could’ve helped even more, then we truly have character. Then we are truly a good person. We become a person people love to be around, a person people trust and truly appreciate. I believe we’re here on Earth to prove that we can achieve that."